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Science answers whether children can suffer prolonged COVID

It is true that the immune system of children tends to respond better to COVID-19 infection, but it is also true that some of them can present important complications after infection, such as multisystemic inflammatory syndrome or even the so-called “Prolonged COVID”. Although most efforts have focused on studying COVID in adults, science has explored the long-term consequences of the disease in children.

What is prolonged COVID?

Prolonged COVID is called extension of signs and symptoms of the disease for more than 12 weeks, even though the infection has been overcome. It can occur even in patients who have had mild illness and here you can learn more about the most common symptoms of prolonged COVID.

While there is no formal medical definition of prolonged COVID in pediatric patients, the researchers note that about 100 symptoms can occur in children that can last for several weekssuch as muscle aches, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, nausea, seizures, mental confusion, dizziness, and even hallucinations.

What science says

A report from the UK Office for National Statistics notes that almost 13% of children in that country between 2 and 11 years of age who contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as 14.5% of adolescents between 12 and 16 years old, presented symptoms five weeks after infection.

An investigation in Italy conducted among 129 children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 16, who had COVID-19 between March and November 2020, revealed that nearly 43 percent of them continued to have symptoms 60 days after infection. Muscle and joint pain, insomnia, fatigue, palpitations, headache and trouble breathing are among the most frequent.

Another Swedish study that monitored five children between the ages of 9 and 15 found symptoms such as muscle weakness, palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, headache and throat pain, and trouble concentrating six to eight months later having had the disease.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all children over 2 years of age should wear a mask in public places and follow known prevention measures, while a pediatric vaccine against COVID-19 is being developed. Meanwhile, teens 12 and older should get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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